Warrawong Sanctuary

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Forest habitat in Warrawong Sanctuary

Warrawong Sanctuary is a wildlife reserve near Adelaide, South Australia. Warrawong was established by Dr John Wamsley to conserve endangered Australian wildlife. He purchased the first 35 acres (14 ha), a degraded dairy farm, in 1969, with 50 acres (20 ha) later added[1]

Wamsley eradicated all feral plants and animals from the sanctuary and erected a surrounding fence to preserve the sanctuary's feral free state. Warrawong was opened to the general public in 1985 with a view to generating enough money to set up more sanctuaries. A company, Earth Sanctuaries Limited, was started in 1988 with a forty-year strategy to create a network of eighty sanctuaries, spanning all of Australia's habitats. The company was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange on 8 April 2000. The float was under-subscribed leaving the company A$10 million short of funds and unable to complete its network of sanctuaries in the eastern states of Australia.[2] During the mid-2000s Earth Sanctuaries Limited was delisted from the Australian stock exchange.[3] Due to the company's poor commercial performance, Warrawong was closed for five months of 2005. In 2006 the sanctuary was bought by Anthony Miller, owner of the Gumeracha Toy Factory and Big Rocking Horse, with a commitment to continue operations.[4]

In May 2010 Warrawong Sanctuary was bought by Zoos South Australia and the Ngarrindjeri People.[5] In February 2013 Zoos South Australia announced that they had withdrawn their support for the Sanctuary due to it being an unsustainable return on their investment. [6]

The Sanctuary is currently closed but will be re-opening in 2018 after a couple from Western Australia's Peel Zoo purchased it. [7]


  1. ^ Newton, Richard (8 March 2002). "Australia: Out on a limb". The Daily Telegraph. UK: Telegraph Media Group Limited. 
  2. ^ Radford, Leigh. "John Wamsley". Rural Legends. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 29 August 2007. 
  3. ^ Adams, Prue (27 March 2005). "Wamsley walks away from Earth Sanctuaries". Landline. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 29 August 2007. 
  4. ^ "SA's Warrawong Sanctuary sold for more than $1m". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2 June 2006. 
  5. ^ "Zoo partnership puts South Australia's Warrawong Sanctuary in safe hands". Adelaide Now. News Limited. 16 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "Zoos SA to Cease Business Operations at Warrawong". 4 Feb 2013. 
  7. ^ "New-look Warrawong to be ‘jewel in crown’". Retrieved 2017-06-10. 

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Coordinates: 35°02′10″S 138°44′10″E / 35.03616°S 138.73606°E / -35.03616; 138.73606